I loved the book and loved the narration but since I multitask while listening I struggled with this one. The jumping around from present to past and back all in the same thought made a typical story untypical. Most of the secondary characters beg for their stories to be told so can we look forward to a prequel or sequel?
Mr. Whitehead did very well. This is a wonderful addition to my (Zombie Survival Guide) collection. Try it, get into it and concentrate. Whether you like it or not...I'll meet Colson @ the terminal.
The audio version is a great way to experience this novel. It's more mood than plot, and the performance enhances the tone of the novel, allowing it to envelop the listener.
The plot is difficult to follow at some points and doesn't move in a straight line, containing many long flashbacks and stream-of-consciousness musings by the narrator. It is NOT your traditional zombie novel.
I found myself getting lost in the expertly-crafted descriptions of a world in chaos. There are some funny moments that lighten the mood a bit, but the novel is definitely a dark one. The characters wouldn't necessarily be believable if you were to hear about them outside of the setting of the novel, but Whitehead makes them believable and explains their quirks well. The characterization made me really like the people in the story.
If you want a standard zombie story with a lot of action, this isn't it. Those who would like to take on a literary experience in an apocalyptic setting and who don't mind taking the scenic route from beginning to end will enjoy Zone One.
Middle of the pack.
To quote the novel: "Hope is a gateway drug. Just say no!"
If you love post-apocalyptic fiction and have wanted a more sophisticated treatment in terms of style and narrative, then this is your book. Whitehead creates fascinating characters and a mesmerizing plot but it's his stylistic pyrotechnics that set this book apart from others probing the same subject.
Beyond the heavy prose, the author revealed an urban writing style.
The prim media consultant from Buffalo was interesting because she seemed oblivious to the realities in this new world.
Mr. Bennett performed the characters excellently.
Each encounter with zombies, had it's fear cycle to go through. It seemed logical that you would have to deal with the fear this way, or die quickly.
The first audio book I downloaded. It took a little getting used to reading a book through audio, but it ended up being a great joy and hard to press the pause button. I was a little worried about it being a zombie novel but it managed to be an original telling of the subject with a great deal of wit and humor.
I've since picked up Colson Whitehead's "John Henry Days". His humor and sarcastic eye towards modern life is incredibly entertaining.
Whitehead uses the zombie apocalypse to lampoon modern life to hysterical effect.
David Rackoff (in Don't Get Too Comfortable) said people are "great sloshing superating bags of wet, prone to rupture, mortal messes just waiting to happen... and who wants to be reminded of that?" Well, Colson Whitehead is reminding us.
What differentiates human beings from other things? From, for instance, the oozing gut-splashing flesh-devouring walking dead? Is it our selfishness, our flashes of empathy, our betrayals, our moments of courage, or maybe our ceaseless craving for the familiar to deaden what we can of ourselves while we’re still alive? This book doesn’t answer any of those questions, but it raises them. If you read only one zombie book this lifetime, I recommend this one. But not while you’re eating.
Tell us about yourself!
Not terribly much in the plot department. Basically, we're following a character nicknamed Mark Spitz as he spends his days working for the post-outbreak government cleaning up lower Manhattan. He wanders around with his team killing and removing two types of zombies: the active, aggressive kind and the zoned-out, non-hungry kind. Mark Spitz goes through the motions while recalling his past through a series of interlocking flashbacks. That's about it. Not terribly compelling. If you're a zombie fan that likes fast-paced action and adventure, take a pass on this one. Zzzzzz.